The Atlas of Middle-earth

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The Atlas of Middle-earth
Atlas Middle-earth.jpg
Dust wrapper, first edition
AuthorKaren Wynn Fonstad
IllustratorKaren Wynn Fonstad
Cover artistAlan Lee (Second edition)
CountryUnited States
PublisherHoughton Mifflin
Publication date
Media typeHardcover
823/.912 20
LC ClassG3122.M5 F6 1991

The Atlas of Middle-earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad is an atlas of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional realm of Middle-earth.[1] It was published in 1981, following Tolkien's major works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

The Atlas includes many detailed maps of the lands described in those books. A revised and updated second edition was published in 1991, after publication of eight volumes of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien after his father's death. A reissue edition was published in 2001.

The maps are treated as if they are of real landscapes, drawn according to the rules of a real atlas. For each area the history of the land is taken into account, as well as geography on a larger scale and from there maps are drawn. Discussion includes suggestions as to the geology that could explain various formations, and points that are contradictory between multiple accounts.

City maps and floor plans for important buildings are also included.

Karen Wynn Fonstad had earned a master's degree in Geography, specializing in cartography, from the University of Oklahoma, and worked as Director of Cartographic Services at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh before she focused on raising children and writing atlases of fictional worlds.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ George Beahm (2004), The Essential J. R. R. Tolkien Sourcebook, ISBN 9781564147028
  2. ^ "About the Author", The Atlas of Pern, New York: Del Rey Books, 1984. Back endpapers.